Hello everyone, this post is all about our hygiene.
A lot of us have a general idea of what hygiene means and ensure our hygiene is on a high scale. However, let us look at the definition of hygiene.
According to the Oxfords dictionary, hygiene can be defined as “Conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness”. Basically, hygiene is the practice of keeping yourself and your surroundings clean. Cleanliness, sanitation etc equates to hygiene.
Why is Good hygiene important
Our Good old body (Human body) can provide places for germs and parasites to grow and multiply. The skin, the mouth and other open parts of the body are easy targets. Good hygiene practice helps keep the unwanted germs away.
There are 7 major personal hygiene habits according to heath professionals, they are:
- Washing the body – shower, Bath, soak etc.
- Cleaning the teeth.
- Washing our hair
- Washing hands with soap after using the toilet, before preparing a meal and before eating.
- Changing into clean clothes
- Washing and airing clothes, beddings and towels.
- Turning away and covering the mouth for a cough or sneeze
These critical hygiene routine are the basis of my post today.
In ensuring personal cleanliness – following the critical hygiene habits, we require certain essentials to do it properly. For instance, you need a sponge or pouffe to wash the body. A toothbrush is needed to clean the teeth, towels to wipe the body and hands etc.
So how often do we clean or change these essentials? Let’s find out what the best practices are according to professionals and you can check to see if what you have in place is efficient.
How often should the body be washed
I’m sure most of you would be rolling your eyes at this, Most people take a bath at least once a day. People tend to take more baths as a result of heat, exposure to dirt or grime etc. What do experts say about it though?
Medical professionals advise that regular showering is not necessary for people who spend a long time indoors. If your job does not require commuting, and much movement, daily baths are not necessary 🤷♀️.
Experts opine that soap used on the body sometimes cause damage to the skin as they strip the body of essential oils which can lead to eczema and other skin conditions. They advise that if possible, cleansers should be used instead of soap. This brings me to a common practice that irks me.
Babies and baths
It is common practice where I come from (Nigeria) to bath babies twice a day 🤷♀️. I don’t just get it, babies just lie there and look pretty all day! They don’t move around and do not necessarily sweat, so why the double baths?
Experts have said that babies do not require daily baths until they start crawling cause obviously they are likely to sweat and will definitely be in contact with germs. I believe a daily bath is fine for babies, And I think an evening bath helps them relax more and settle for the night.
How often should sponges and puffs be changed?
How long should a sponge/pouffe be used for?? 😁 Some people tend to use sponges until it falls apart. According to experts, there should be maximum of three weeks use for pouffes and six weeks for sponges. However, if they start to smell or become discoloured before then, you should change them straight away.
This is necessary because they can become a breeding ground for organisms that cause rashes and infections. After every use, sponges should be wrung out and hung in a well-ventilated area. If you want to be extra cautious, you could even disinfect your sponges every few days.
So please don’t wait till your sponge falls apart before changing them, do it as often as necessary to keep the nasty organisms away.
How often should towels be replaced?
After you’ve had a refreshing bath, nothing beats drying yourself with a freshly laundered towel! But how long should that towel be used?
Firstly, it is important to hang a towel to dry in a well-ventilated room after every use. Whilst towels are good at drying our bodies, they are not good at drying themselves 😙. After each use, towels absorb a lot of water thereby making them damp. A damp towel is a great breeding ground for unwanted organisms which in turn leads to fungal infections, skin irritations and spots. It is therefore very important to dry them.
However, regular drying after each use does not mean a towel can be used till whenever. Experts recommend that bath towels should be washed after three to five use. So if you’ve been more generous in your bath towel usage, please adjust accordingly 😉.
Towels, if dried and replaced regularly should generally last about 2 years. They can be changed or discarded earlier than that though, depending on usage, quality and preference.
How often should you brush your teeth?
A lot of us know we ought to brush our teeth at least twice a day, morning and before bed. But how many of us practice this?
Experts recommend teeth brushing after every meal, this can be difficult as we don’t eat every meal at home which is why brushing before bed is important.
Ideally, the mouth should be washed after breakfast as you should not go out with a dirty mouth so if you brush before eating breakfast, you should brush again after eating. To avoid too much-brushing from reluctant boys I actually get my boys to brush after breakfast. Anyway, try to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Regular flossing is also advised.
How often should tooth-brush be replaced
So how often are we meant to replace tooth brushes? Many dental professionals recommend changing your tooth brush (Including electric brush head) every 3 months or sooner if the brittles are frayed.
That’s because, no matter what type of toothbrush you use, its bristles can become frayed and worn and may lose their effectiveness. clinical research shows that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than one that’s worn out, (Obviously right! 🙄) ensuring that your brush is working its hardest to help keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Other reasons to change tooth brush
- If you or a family member have been sick, it’s a good idea to replace your toothbrush as well as the toothbrush of everyone else in your household.
- Viral and bacterial infections such as strep throat are a good reason to change your tooth brush.
- Children’s toothbrushes can be changed more often than every 3 months, as they may mash on a toothbrush head or gnaw on the handle. Don’t forget to watch your child when they’re brushing their teeth to make sure they aren’t exposing their brush head to any other surface besides their teeth.
- If anyone else uses your toothbrush by mistake, get rid of it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and everyone’s mouth harbors different bacteria than yours. 🤮
How often should the sheets be changed?
I love a crisp clean sheet, who doesn’t right? Remember my post on rooms where I mentioned that the bedroom – as far as I’m concerned is the most important room in the house. The bedroom is a personal space, that’s where you let your hair down and are most vulnerable. It should therefore be kept well and made very comfortable. The bed, oh your bed should be treasured and so the sheets must always be fresh and clean.
Sheets can accumulate a lot of stuff you can’t see: thousands of dead skin cells, dust mites, etc. Some people come from outside and even lie or sit on the bed with the same clothes. It’s wise to change from outside clothes to comfortable loungewear, or house clothes. Whatever we choose to wear, show your bed some respect, please! I digress😁.
Sheets can accumulate a lot of stuff and because of the direct contact with our skin, they should be changed often. But how often is often 😁? Experts recommend a weekly change of sheets – I honestly feel sheets should be changed every four days although I manage to change mine every week. When I was in Nigeria though I changed all sheets every 3 days (I had help 😊). The following practices will also help maintain a clean bed:
- showering before bed
- avoiding naps after a sweaty gym session
- removing makeup before you go to sleep
- avoiding putting on lotions, creams, or oils right before bed
- not eating or drinking in bed
- keeping pets off your sheets
- removing debris and dirt from your feet or socks before climbing into bed
Pillows should be cleaned every 3 months and mattresses should be vacuumed often too. Mattresses should be changed after 8 years.
How often should underwear be washed?
Oh yes, I’m going there 😋. How often should the undergarments be washed? We all do this differently, but what do experts say?
Bras should be hung in an airy place after each wear. I’ve read different expert recommendations on how often bras should be washed. Some experts say after 2-3 wears, while some recommend 3-4 wears. I always try to stick to 3. Sports bras should be washed after each use.
This is a no brainer right. If you’re wearing this more than once that’s disgusting and should be stopped immediately! Yes and boxers too, men, it should only be worn once 😊.
How often should clothes be washed
Generally, it is advised that clothes can be washed after 2 wears but we all know some clothes can only be worn once. Pyjamas should be washed after 2-3 days, Socks should be washed after not more than 2 wears etc.
There is really no set rule on how personal hygiene should be maintained, it’s all about lifestyle and personal choices. However, some of this rule of thumb can be followed as they encourage a high level of cleanliness which is good for any individual.
Weather, occupation, extra-curricular activities, body type etc also have a lot to do with how often some of this cleanliness regime should be carried out. Let’s not leave out how much you (and your people around you) can tolerate’. Regular washes won’t kill though, and if it can be warm washes (for clothes), even better. Let’s stay clean.